This week in Parliament the Scottish Government had the chance to protect Scotland’s most vulnerable communities from socially divisive Coalition policies but simply failed to take any action. In Parliament the Scottish Government voted against a Labour amendment to mitigate the effect of the Bedroom Tax on the people of Scotland.
A Labour amendment to the Local Government Finance Order called on the Scottish Government to mitigate the impact of the Bedroom Tax on Scotland’s most vulnerable and to respond positively to COSLA’s call to fully fund the replacement for council tax benefit as has happened at the National Assembly in Wales.
Labour asked the SNP Government to work with us in helping people through these tough times and by enabling local authorities to get the financial support they need. The amendment, however, was defeated by 81 votes to 35 after the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats joined the SNP in voting against.
Instead of promising action in a separate Scotland the SNP should be taking action now and standing up for the people of Scotland. The underlying problem is that there is simply a shortage of affordable housing across Scotland including here in Fife.
According to Fife Housing Association one in five of their tenants will be affected by the Bedroom Tax. An analysis of their housing stock shows that the Association holds only 82 1 bed properties compared to 2,364 properties with 2 beds or more. Fife Housing Association statistics show that their simply isn’t enough 1 bedroom properties to accommodate those that would want to downsize and unless the Scottish Government takes action we could see vulnerable families at risk of losing their homes.